RamFanatic and Chancellor Reach Accord

Now folks, after reading the above headline, before you conclude that ole RamFanatic has lost his mind, hear me out.

For some time, I have noticed the tendency of newspaper articles to have a different type of headline. In the old days, a headline was supposed to provide a summary of what was included in the article but beginning several years ago, headlines became something entirely different. They literally became advertisements of the article and those reporters who could make a play on words seemed to be gaining the upper hand. The first time I noticed this change was when headlines would be stated in the form of a question and if you weren't careful, you would assume the headline to be true when in fact it was only posing a question. An example of this would be "Forte To Leave Carolina?" Not a statement of fact when printed several weeks ago but can now be stated with certainty.

So what does all this have to do with RamFanatic and Chancellor Moeser? Nothing but I couldn't resist the temptation to play the new headline game. We haven't reached an accord because we have never been in discord.

As you can see from the above photograph, we did meet in Richmond on May 3rd when he spoke to a group of Tar Heels at the Capitol Club in the James Center Complex. There were approximately 60 persons who attended the luncheon meeting.

In summary, I don't know how I could have been more favorably impressed with our new Chancellor. He is friendly, easy to talk to, believable and a real Tar Heel. As he said during his remarks, "I'm not a tar heel born and I'm not a tar heel bred but when I die, I'll be a tar heel dead. I, for one, believe him.

He is a relaxed speaker and used no notes whatsoever in addressing the group at the Capitol Club. He gave a comprehensive report on the state of affairs in Chapel Hill and introduced those of us in attendance to some new initiatives which we will hear more about in the future. He said one thing that I'm sure made some of us who are concerned about the growth of the University happy. He said he didn't visualize UNC getting any larger than 30,000 and maybe no larger tan 27,000. UNC's total undergraduate and graduate enrollment is currently approximately 23,000. The concern over growth, of course, revolves around the fact that many of us fear that Carolina and Chapel Hill will lose their charm if they grow to the size of many nationally recognized universities.

Chancellor Moeser mentioned that many of the intellectual initiatives launched by former Chancellor Hooker remain in place and several new ones are in the process of being adopted. An exchange program with a university in Mexico is one that he mentioned. 500 students from each institution will exchange students for a prescribed period of time. This is further evidence that Carolina is truly an international educational institution.

Chancellor Moeser did mention one fact that shocked me. In the next 5 years, one third of UNC's faculty will retire. This means that we will have to compete with other institutions for replacements of a significant portion of our Faculty. When you consider that many of the institutions with which we will be competing have more financial resources than we do, this will be no easy task. He mentioned that Harvard's endowment is $19 billion, Duke's is 5 billion and UNC's is approx. 1 billion dollars.

Another topic which came up was the Horace Williams tract that is currently causing some controversy in Chapel Hill. Chancellor Moeser says that plans call for multi-purpose facilities to be located in the tract including affordable housing for new faculty coming into Chapel Hill. No details were given but I imagine the housing would work somewhat like it does at Duke whereby the land is sold at a reduced price, the house is built by the individual with the stipulation that if it is ever sold, it will be sold back to the University for resale to another faculty member. I was shocked again when he said the average price of a home in Chapel Hill is now unbelievable. This points out the need for more housing options for new Asst. Professors who will be coming to the Hill in the next 5 years.

The Chancellor mentioned the new genomic center being planned in collaboration with Duke, N.C. State and the Research Triangle. The center recently received a 25 million dollar gift so it is more than just an idea.

So don't take my little attempt at humor in the headline too seriously. It says we have reached an accord, implying that we previously were not in accord. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have felt like and I continue to feel feel that we are in good hands and that's a good feeling.